DETROIT — At the 2014 LA auto show, Cadillac announced the 455-horsepower 2016 ATS-V and said that it was “the closest thing to a true successor to the Cadillac CTS-V.” Today, the automaker announces the true successor: the 640-horsepower 2016 Cadillac CTS-V. When the current, second-generation CTS-V first hit the scene back in 2008, the car’s 556 horsepower pretty much blew the competition out of the water. However, the next dedicated performance model from Cadillac, the ATS-V unveiled at the recent Los Angeles Auto Show, was outmatched in the power stakes by its rivals from Lexus and Mercedes-Benz. This left some fans concerned that the new third-generation CTS-V may also have been outmatched by rivals.
Well, Cadillac has put those concerns to rest with confirmation that the new CTS-V, which debuted this week at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show, will come packing a supercharged 6.2-liter LT4 V-8 good for 640 horsepower and 630 pound-feet of torque (the same mill found in the 2015 Chevrolet Corvette Z06). Yes, that makes the new sledgehammer of a sedan more powerful than supercars like the Ferrari 458 Speciale and Lamborghini Huracán, but more importantly it outmatches all off its rivals by a considerable margin. By comparison, the BMW M5 and Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG deliver 575 and 577 hp respectively in their most potent trim, and the all-new 2016 Lexus GS F, also debuting in Detroit, comes with just 467 hp.
Cadillac says its luxurious five-seat sedan should sprint to 60 mph from rest in just 3.7 seconds and keep accelerating until it maxes out at 200 mph. Drive is to the rear wheels only, via General Motors Company’s [NYSE:GM] brilliant 8L90 eight-speed automatic transmission. The paddle-shifted unit features a launch control system and specific shift programing for the CTS-V. The car also gets fuel-saving direct-injection and cylinder-deactivation technologies.
Track-honed design, chassis and suspension elements complement the supercharged engine and further elevate the car’s capability, performance and driver control over the regular CTS. Additional upgrades include a carbon fiber hood, beefy Brembo brakes, third-generation Magnetic Ride Control suspension (damping response is now 40 percent faster), structural enhancements (stiffness is up 25 percent), a wider track, and track-tuned traction and stability control systems. The curb weight is 4,145 lbs, which is more than the 4,034 lbs of the Lexus GS F but less than that of German rivals. Buyers of the new CTS-V can also opt to have a hood vent, front splitter, rear spoiler and rear diffuser fitted—with all the components made from carbon fiber.
Nineteen-inch wheels wrapped with specially developed Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires give the CTS-V its footprint and enable nearly 1 g in lateral acceleration. The lightweight, forged aluminum wheels—measuring 9.5 inches wide in the front and 10 inches wide in the rear—are constructed of a low-mass forging that helps reduce unsprung weight for greater agility and a more direct feel to steering inputs.
The suspension and electronic power steering system have also been tuned for quicker response and work together with an electronic limited-slip differential to further aid handling. The standard Brembo brakes include two-piece 15.3-inch steel discs up front with six-piston calipers and 14.3-inch discs at the rear with four-piston calipers.
Moving inside, CTS-V buyers will be treated with a performance-oriented design featuring sueded microfiber accents and matte-finish carbon fiber trim. Sporty Recaro front seats are available and come with adjustable bolsters that help hold occupants in place during high-load cornering. The standard front seats are 20-way adjustable with heating and ventilation.
Advanced safety and parking technologies include a front curb-view camera system that provides a visual cue of curbs to protect the front splitter; automatic parking assist to find and steer into parallel or perpendicular parking spots; side blind zone alert, forward collision alert, lane keep assist and rear cross traffic alert. Additionally, the car comes with unique menus, the CUE infotainment system, GM’s Performance Data Recorder, and most of the standard goodies from the regular CTS.
Pricing for the 2016 Cadillac CTS-V should be announced closer to the sales launch later this year.